April 3rd, 2008
A while back, Belinda Jensen, the president of the American Fork High School PTSA in Utah became impressed with Standard of Liberty, an LDS-oriented anti-gay organization. So she invited the group to make a presentation.
Standard of Liberty, and it’s co-founder Stephen Graham, are passionate, but not particularly accurate or logical.
Q: You say homosexuality is physically harmful. How?
A: Homosexual sex (sodomy), causes chronic illnesses and life-threatening disease (HIV/AIDS), shortening life by an average of 20 years. The human body is simply not made for this behavior. In addition, adopting the “gay” identity often masks dangerous psychological problems that need attention.
Q: Doesn’t heterosexual sex carry the same physical risks as homosexual sex?
A: No, none, if there is abstinence before marriage, and fidelity and healthy, normal sexual intercourse in marriage.
Because, of course, he thinks fidelity is by definition missing from gay relationships.
And my favorites:
Q: Should even those privately struggling with SSA, who have not “acted out,” be chastened, offered help and correction, and held accountable by the church?
A: Yes. The church should be concerned with the person’s soul. People with this problem have become involved in perverse and sinful lust to the detriment of their eternal salvation.
Q: How many really change from unwanted homosexuality?
A: A new study reports a 38% success rate. An additional 29% had made progress and were committed to continuing their efforts. That’s a combined total of 77% experiencing success. (Jones and Yarhouse, 2007) In the mental heath profession, this rate of success is considered very high.
You may recall that the Jones and Yarhouse study revealed little to no statistically measurable change in orientation in the prospective sample. The much touted “successes” were either in recollection (which again were quite small) or were those who had decided to no longer call themselves “gay”. However, they still identified their orientation as homosexual (“I’m not gay but my attractions are”).
In short, the Jones and Yarhouse study was funded and fully supported by Exodus and conducted by two researchers who were avid supporters of ex-gay ministries. They wanted to study 300 participants, but after more than a year, they could only find 57 willing to participate. They then changed the rules for acceptance in order to increase the total to 98. After following this sample for 4 years, 25 dropped out. Of the remainder, only 11 reported “satisfactory, if not uncomplicated, heterosexual adjustment.” Another 17 decided that a lifetime of celibacy was good enough.
But for some reason Jensen thought that Stephen Graham had just the presentation that she wanted for the Parents, Teachers and Students Association. The principle of the High School was not so convinced and canceled Graham’s presentation.
Undeterred, Graham shifted the forum to a local library. In his speech his anti-gay activist motivations became clear.
Standard of Liberty co-founder Stephen Graham began with an account of how his son overcame gay tendencies after counseling, then screened individual film segments detailing the “gay agenda,” “gay demands” and “gay agenda in schools.”
Graham presented statistics from www.narth.com, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. Some of the most common concerns for gay men, he said, include HIV/AIDS, marijuana, Ecstasy, amphetamines, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, heart disease, anorexia, anal warts and anal cancers.
“These things do occur in normal population, but not nearly at the rate as in people troubled with homosexuality,” he said.
Along with some unidentified 1993 video, Julie Harren-Hamilton’s 2006 DVD, Homosexuality 101, starring Alan Chambers, Julie Harren, Mike Ensley, Christine Sneeringer, and Jack Harren, was featured both on his site and in his speech.
Various representatives from the Utah Pride Center were at the presentation to counter Graham’s propaganda.
The Utah Pride Center will hold another meeting to offer information on resources for parents and youths at the library at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
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Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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